March 2nd, 2022
Work-related stress has taken a toll on the average American employee. Many employees have fallen victim to “The Great Resignation” as a result. The Great Resignation is a movement, essentially, that is driven by employees leaving jobs at increased rates. This has left employers scrambling to try and fill positions as quickly as possible. The result is the Great Resignation is causing a mental health crisis.
A poor work-life balance and a lack of "empathy" from employers are two primary reasons why people are leaving these roles. People are no longer staying loyal to companies that don't value them as individuals. They no longer see the worth of staying in thankless jobs that provide unreasonably low wages and minimal to no health benefits, while still expecting them to put their commitment to the company's needs above their own.
Many of those who have chosen to remain at their employer during the pandemic have had to take on additional workloads that may have been previously completed by other roles within the company. The reason is, as the number of employees in the workforce decreases, many companies try to cut down on costs and improve efficiency, and their existing employees carry the resulting burden.
So, those employees who stayed loyal to their employer during COVID-19 ended up taking on additional work, without any additional pay. As a result, exhausted employees have been quitting and rethinking their career choices, and how they fare in comparison to the “new normal” standard for a work-life balance.
Studies like a report recently published by Uprise Health, titled "Are You Listening? What Employees Expect from Employers for Mental Health Support" indicate that individuals need a change from employers.
This has impacted a growing mental health crisis. Many individuals are on the verge of a mental breakdown from the rigorous level of commitment their job entails while being paid less than deserved. Others are also suffering from mental health issues from unemployment.
These individuals are at an increased risk of developing adjustment problems, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and other mental health issues. The mental strain of these issues can be too much to bear, and lead to increased suicidal ideation, mania, or impulsive behavior.
1. Recognize work burnout: Immense stress can lead to feelings of burnout. Burnout is essentially what occurs when chronic stress is developed over a long period of time due to a demanding work role. Symptoms of work burnout include fatigue, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness/hopelessness, and difficulty with satisfaction and interest in work.
2. Work more efficiently: Work smarter, not harder. Establish a work schedule, a home routine, prioritize your tasks, and work toward your goals.
3. Understand your job description: Make note of your job duties, responsibilities, and limits. Be aware that if the duties are not in your job description, discuss it with your supervisor so you can receive some assistance, raise your income and/or benefits, and re-assign duties to others if needed.
4. Ask for help: It is ok to ask for help. To ask for a break. Put yourself first.
5. Practice self-care: Due to the work-life balance, everything occurs in one space. As a result, employees may feel like they are working 24/7. Establish a self-care routine to remove yourself from your virtual space and commit to an activity you enjoy. This can be taking a warm shower, reading, making a manicure appointment, cooking, etc.
6. Create a 10-15-minute check-in schedule: Take a 10-15 break between your work hours to be able to wind down. Take a walk, make a cup of coffee, get a fresh breath of air, watch a comedic YouTube video, etc.
7. If it is becoming a toxic workplace walk away: Recognize when the job has taken a toll on your mental health and how to walk away from the position. Remember, walking away doesn’t mean you're giving up.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from “The Great Resignation”, career counseling may also be a good fit for you as well. Career counseling is emotional support provided by career counselors to help you or your loved ones manage work-related stress, find a job, and learn ways to cope with workplace changes.
Career counselors utilize career theories to understand your values, personality traits, and experiences so they can match you with a position that will bring you satisfaction. Career counselors conduct career assessments to find your personality-job satisfaction match, develop resumes and cover letters, find positions in your area, practice interview skills, and prepare you for the hiring process.
If you are already working somewhere and need emotional support, career counselors work to provide an emotional support system and coping mechanisms to help with work-related stress and burnout symptoms. Career counselors can also help with accommodations needed in the workplace, with career individual therapy and group therapy provided as needed. Clarity Clinic offers both individual career therapy and group career group.
Written By: Khadija Manzoor, LPC
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in therapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic at (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.
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